Middle States Accreditation
Montclair State University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE). Accreditation is a process of peer review that the educational community has used for self-regulation and to instill public confidence since the early 20th century. Colleges and universities apply for accreditation and, once accredited, must adhere to the standards of quality and integrity set forth by their accrediting organization. In the MSCHE, this includes standards for student learning outcomes and operational behavior.
Accreditation plays a crucial role in establishing and maintaining our credibility as an institution of higher learning and in upholding the public’s trust.
- The accreditation process.
- What is the Middle States Commission on Higher Education?
- How does MSCHE assist institutions of higher education?
The University was scheduled for a decennial evaluation in the 2016-2017 academic year. The MSCHE revised the standards and launched a Collaborative Implementation Project (CIP) to assist in the adoption of these new standards. Montclair State was one of 15 schools selected to participate in the CIP. As such, we worked closely with the Commission staff and with each other to use the new standards in conducting MSCHE’s institutional self-studies.
Step 1: Self-Study
The evaluation process began with an Institutional Self-Study. We formed seven working groups consisting of Montclair State faculty, staff and students, and steered by our Executive Leadership Team. Each working group reviewed the educational programs and services to determine how well they serve our students, accomplish our goals and fulfill our mission as a university, and meet the Commission’s high standards.
We provided periodic updates throughout the process to ensure the University community and alumni were aware of the status of our evaluation. The self-study design document and the final self-study report summarizing our findings are now available to the public.
Step 2: Peer Review
In the next phase of our decennial evaluation, educators from similar institutions read our self-study report and conducted a team visit to determine if Montclair State meets MSCHE accreditation standards. As part of their assessment, they endorsed some of the suggestions made in the self-study report and provided some additional suggestions for institutional follow up.
Step 3: Commission Review and Decision
The MSCHE’s Committee on Evaluation reviewed all of the discussions, reports and suggestions and reaffirmed Montclair State University's accreditation status.
As a voluntary, non-governmental membership association, the MSCHE facilitates and supports the ability of higher education institutions to respond to a diverse, dynamic and global higher education community that is continually evolving. MSCHE accredits degree-granting colleges and universities in the Middle States region, which includes Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Washington, D.C., as well as Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and several international locations. Learn more at msche.org.
The Core Values of the Commission clearly indicate their commitment to work with higher education institutions through self-regulation and peer-review. MSCHE fosters a “continuous and seamless relationship with member institutions to promote self evaluation and institutional improvement.” The Commission respects the unique mission of each institution and its evaluation processes and procedures for student learning outcomes assessment, effective teaching and institutional effectiveness.
MSCHE is also committed to the principles of cooperation, flexibility and openness. The Commission assists member institutions in maintaining the high level of transparency in the accreditation process and in the status held by each member institution, as this is an essential component of higher education reporting procedures.